Japan with Justin Warner

April 16 - 23, 2024 | One Exclusive Departure

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Heritage & Tradition

Experience Japan at its most timeless and delicious with Chef Justin Warner

April 16 - 23, 2024

One exclusive departure — reserve your spot!

8 Days, 7 Nights

The best of Tokyo, Izu, Osaka, Kyoto

Price from


Per person based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

You’ve packed more into the past few days than the past few years. First Tokyo, a Blade Runner-like world of subways and skyscrapers, tiny ramen shops and tinier speakeasies. Then, Izu for masterclass in Japanese hospitality and onsen culture. After that, the bullet train to Osaka, the culinary capital of Japan for a whirlwind street food tour. And now you’re here in stunning Kyoto, its crooked canals and ancient shrines all blend together to create a fairy-tale world of both whimsy and delight.

Joining you on this culinary odyssey is Chef Justin Warner, winner of Food Network Star and author of the trendsetting cook book, The Laws of Cooking: And How to Break Them. Justin is insatiably curious, a trait that has helped him get to know all the hidden joys of Japan. We simply cannot wait to follow his culinary passion and curious playfulness through the back alleys, noodle shops, and fine-dining icons of Tokyo and Kyoto.

If you find joy in immersing yourself deeply in Japanese culture and cuisine, this trip is for you. If you’re fascinated by ancient rituals and artisans who’ve been perfecting their crafts for centuries, join us in Japan alongside Justin Warner.


With Justin, and with some of Japan’s most inspiring chefs and working artists


Tokyo and Osaka—the most exciting, dynamic food cities in the world. We'll eat everything


Kyoto's layers of history, back-alley noodle joints, bustling markets, swanky cocktail bars


Grace, beauty and centuries of history at monumental shrines and traditional ryokan inns

3 Reasons to Travel with Justin Warner

A self-taught chef and insatiable soul, Justin Warner is exactly the kind of human who can unlock the secret flavors of Japan. He's also the the kind of human who can feast his way through the world of Marvel Comics—just ask the avid fans of his Eat the Universe Marvel cookbook—and prepare the perfect bowl of ramen. In Japan, he's determined to deliver sheer delight one bento box at a time.

Culture Pop

Justin has finger on the pulse of Tokyo youth culture. With him as our guide, we'll uncover the secret world of Shibuya and mingle with local manga artists, too.

Fly Fishing Karaoke

Justin is not just willing to try anything once—he's willing to put in the time and make it a passion. Hear him do karaoke or watch him tenkara (Japanese style of fly fishing) and you'll see what we mean.

Tokyo, South Dakota

Justin's ramen shop in Rapid City is not just a testament to his belief in locally sourcing ingredients for all types of cuisine. It's also an ode to everything he loves about Japan. It may also be the only restaurant in the world to serve bison-bone ramen.

Your Experience

“I like turning over rocks in the literal and metaphorical sense.”
Justin Warner

Tokyo, Izu, Osaka, Kyoto

“Honestly I like a challenge—especially a challenge like Tokyo where everything is so interesting.”
Justin Warner

Day by Day

Day 1: Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo, the world’s greatest food city, and home to more Michelin stars than any other city (even Paris). There’s only one way to start an adventure through Japan, and that’s a sprawling welcome banquet specially curated by one of Tokyo’s finest.

We begin with a sake tasting designed to thrill and tantalize our palates for the feast to come. Dinner is a personal culinary love letter from chef Hideki Ohnishi of Kisaiya Hide — he’ll dazzle us with sashimi, nasu (eggplant) salad and dishes that remind him of home in Shikoku: taimeshi (snapper) served with Japan’s finest rice. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the start of our adventure.

Day 1: Tokyo Highlights

  • Sake tasting
  • Welcome dinner at Kisaiya Hide
  • Stay at Nohga Akihabara

Day 2: Tokyo

Today, we dive into the dazzling world of ramen with a hands-on workshop. Not only will we have Justin to lean on, but we’ll learn the ins and outs of preparation from a local master. After slurping the noodles of our labor, we find ourselves in lively Kappabashi, otherwise known as ‘Kitchen Street.’ We’ll wander its zigzagging streets, taking in the sights and smells of this incredible food-centric neighborhood.

We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the capital independently before meeting with Chef Daisuke Shimazaki at Sushi Yuu. His quiet backstreet restaurant is small and intimate, and his sushi and sashimi are close to perfection

What’s on tap for the rest of the evening? That’s up to you, but we can disclose that Justin might have something up his sleeve. Hint: it may have something to do with a cocktail, a microphone and a karaoke bar.

Day 2: Tokyo Highlights

  • Ramen workshop
  • Kappabashi Tour
  • Dinner at Sushi Yuu with Daisuke Shimazaki
  • Stay at Nohga Akihabara

Day 3: Tokyo

This morning is at your leisure, and we encourage you to immerse yourself in the electric buzz of Tokyo. With its Blade Runner-like highways, towering skyscrapers lording over quiet back alleys and a dazzling kaleidoscope of shops and restaurants, there’s no such thing as a ‘wrong turn’ here.

We’ll reconvene around noon only to dive deep into Shibuya, a mecca for Japanese hobby culture; whether you’re like Justin and can gleefully nerd out with Pokemon, manga and Sofubi, or if you’ve never really dabbled in these trends, today is a backstage pass to this dynamic, playful and creative realm. Thanks to Justin’s network, we’ll meet up with a leading manga artist to help unlock the secrets of the scene. Though we can’t say much more, we might even strike a pose and become the stuff of art.

Dinner tonight is humble izakaya—small informal tapas-like plates bustling with fresh vegetables and punctuated with the catch of the day.

Day 3: Tokyo Highlights

  • Morning on own
  • Shiboyu exploration
  • Izakaya dinner
  • Stay at Nohga Akihabara

Day 4: Tokyo to Izu

After a short Shinkansen (bullet train) journey we’ll arrive in Izu. This is the wettest part of Japan, ideal for cultivating wasabi in uniquely designed water terraces. We’ll tour behind the scenes at a local wasabi farm, and sit down to a family-style meal of sashimi and fresh seasonal vegetables.

The cable car up to Panorama Park gets us one of the finest views of Mount Fuji (assuming the weather is kind). After admiring her sacred summit, we’ll head to our lodging for the night: a traditional ryokan (inn). It’s a stunning 150-year-old architectural museum surrounded by nature, with its own natural hot springs. Here, bathing in the traditional baths, we commit ourselves to pure relaxation. Dinner is a traditional kaiseki meal, each small dish jewel-like in its presentation.

Day 4: Tokyo to Izu Highlights

  • Toyosu fish market
  • Wasabi farm tour & lunch
  • Hot springs & kaiseki dinner
  • Stay at Arai Ryokan

Day 5: Osaka & Kyoto

We’ll board the Shinkansen to Osaka; at 200 miles per hour, it’s a no-hassle, two-hour journey. While Osaka is famous for its cuisine, first we’ll experience another of the city’s traditional crafts, knife-making, in the heart of the Sakai prefecture with a master artisan.

Next, it’s time for one of the best food experiences in the world. Osaka’s reputation as the culinary heart of Japan is built on its concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants (99 at last count), its excellent street-food scene, its openness to foreign cuisines, and two delicious indigenous snacks: okonomiyaki (yam-flour pancakes filled with seafood, pork, kimchi) and takoyaki (octopus doughnuts). We’re here specifically for the street foods — our dinner is a delicious movable feast on foot.

In the late evening, we’ll head out for Kyoto, Japan’s capital from the 12th to 19th centuries and one of the most visually stunning cities in the country. After we settle in to our gracious hotel in the heart of Kyoto, the evening is ours to explore the city’s graceful waterways and shrines, or to wander the back lanes of the historic Gion district, famous for its geisha culture.

Day 5: Osaka & Kyoto Highlights

  • Knife-making workshop
  • Street-food dinner
  • Transfer to Kyoto
  • Stay at Ace Hotel

Day 6: Kyoto

Our first stop today is just down the road and written in the tea leaves. It’s said that Zen monks first brought green tea from China to nearby Uji some 800 years ago. We’ll explore the history — and taste a variety of traditional teas — at a local tea farm, before a traditional and highly seasonal tempura lunch.

Before returning to Kyoto proper, we’ll make time to explore the Fushimi Inari Shrine and its network of trails— the thousands of bright red torii (wooden gates), curving in parallel rows along the footpaths is a stunning sight on its own. Dinner is on your own tonight. Justin will be happy to recommend a few of his favorite haunts.

Day 6: Kyoto Highlights

  • Uji farm & tea tasting
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Stay at Ace Hotel

Day 7: Kyoto

No visit to Kyoto is complete without a pilgrimage to Arashiyama and the Ōkōchi Sansō gardens. With the help of our local guide, we’ll wander far from the teeming crowds and admire the stunning bamboo groves on our own.

Lunch is yours to arrange. In the late afternoon, we’ll reconvene at the hotel and transfer to the scene of our epic farewell diner.

Before we settle down to toasts and a sumptuous hotpot, one more lesson is in order. We’ll dive into the art of shodo calligraphy, learning that beauty and balance comes not just in what you write, but how you make flowing strokes with a deft brush.

Our meal tonight — in the Anrakuji Temple complex, with its manicured pathways and graceful gardens — is equally rooted in tradition: a classic winter nabe (traditional clay hotpot) prepared by Justin, restorative and warming. We’ll share a joyful toast and celebrate our week of adventure and connection.

Day 7: Kyoto Highlights

  • Arashiyama visit
  • Calligraphy class
  • Dinner at Myoshinji Temple with Justin
  • Stay at Ace Hotel

Day 8: Kyoto

Alas, our journey has come to an end. As we say goodbye to our new friends, we know that we’ll have to return, and soon. In the meantime, the soul of Japanese cuisine and craft will travel home with us, helping us find the beauty wherever we look.

Day 8: Kyoto Highlights

  • Group transfer to Osaka's KIX airport
  • Flights home

Where We Sleep

We blend the luxurious, modern world with ryokan-style rooms and a restoring dose of Japanese shibui, that notion of striking a peaceful harmony with nature.

Nohga Akihabara


Catered to the artistic soul, this boutique hotel is a haven for makers and dreamers looking to decipher the heartbeat of Tokyo. All the rooms come equipped with incredible sound systems, while gallery openings and concerts unfold nearly every night in common spaces.

Arai Ryokan


Ancient traditions are alive and well at this luxurious 150-year-old ryokan, its traditional architecture and sleeping quarters providing an oasis of calm and a respite from the cares of the world. Legend has it that this ryokan's on-site hot spring was brought forth 1,200 years ago to allow a devoted son to wash his ailing father’s back. Today the gentle, mildly alkaline waters continue to soothe the spirit.

Ace Hotel


Housed in the former Kyoto Central Telephone Office, the Ace Hotel is a masterclass in renovation and revitalization. This newly remixed hotel—replete with in-room turntables and several soaking pools—was dreamt up by Japanese designer Kuma Kengo alongside the LA-based design firm, Commune.

Unique access to people and places. This was a trip we could not have done without Modern Adventure.
Scott F.
One of the best weeks of my life. I definitely want to do another trip with MO/AD.
Elizabeth Z.
Everything was perfectly planned and amazing. We were able to explore places that most people never see.
Jennifer G.

Book Japan with Justin Warner

Number of Travelers


Reserve your spot today with a $1,500 per-person deposit plus room supplements (if relevant). Full payment is due 180 days prior to your trip departure date. We’ll email you a reminder. If your trip departs in less than 180 days, we’ll collect full payment either 30 days from when we receive your deposit, or 60 days prior to your trip departure date, whichever is sooner. For details read our Deposit FAQs


Per person based on double occupancy

Can't travel on these dates?
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+1 (855) 219-8018


That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.

  1. What does the price include?

    Seven nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; all gratuities for tour leaders and local guides.

  3. Where does the trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins in Tokyo, Japan. There are two airports servicing Tokyo – Narita International Airport (NRT) and Tokyo International Airport, Haneda (HND). Our adventure ends in Kyoto, Japan. Your flight home from Kansai International Airport (KIX) should be scheduled to depart at 2pm or later on our final day.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    US citizens do not need a visa to visit Japan for Business or Tourism purposes. Requirements are subject to change and we will reach out directly with full details and updates.

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is a $1,800 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. These spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    This adventure has a maximum of 12 guests. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before October 18, 2023 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after October 19, 2023 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after February 16, 2024 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being cancelled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details). Please note that your cancelation terms may differ if you are being transferred from a prior departure; see your correspondence from Modern Adventure for details.

  9. Do I need Travel Insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs; if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit.

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